For my dear friend in Japan

Patchwork Basics - potholder. March 23 @ 6pm
There are so many things we have no control over despite all our attempts. Earthquakes and tsunamis being in the top ten uncontrollables. And then exploding nuclear plants releasing radiation. These disasters have weighed heavy on my heart and I have been struggling to make sense of the world. 500,000 people have been displaced – that’s twice as many as were affected by Hurricane Katrina, and twice as many as were affected in the Kobe earthquake 15 years ago. I'm grateful to be safe in Cambridge sewing a patchwork pot holder. <PREVIEWEND>

One of my oldest and dearest friends lives and works in Tokyo. Kazuko and I were roommates while in graduate school, both pursuing our MFA's in Costume Design and Construction. She was by far the better draper and tailor. She also rendered fabric with an ease that I would not achieve until my third year in school. She worked for a number of years in the States after we graduated at a number of wonderful theatres. Unfortunately, Kazuko would later return to Japan to help care for an ailing family member and not follow the path of a costume designer.

The morning of the earthquake I first checked Facebook to see if she was posting. She's very on top of the social media and I knew if she could she would let us know her status. I was relieved to find her updating frequently about her location, her colleagues, and her attempts to get home to her family. Twelve hours later she would finally make it home to find her mother, sister and nephew safe. They were fortunate enough to have power and food.

She is still posting about the aftershocks. She recently posted that she wishes the government would be clear about what can be done with the nuclear plants. There seems to be no clear message about their danger or any clear solution. There are rolling blackouts. But the explosions and evacuations are making her nervous. I can't even imagine what this must be like. The biggest natural disaster I have ever experienced was a tornado and it missed us by a couple miles.

I am lucky that my friends and colleagues in Japan all are accounted for. Safe and sound. I know that many are not. And I know that it isn't over yet. That there are many unknowns, rescue efforts continue and volunteers are attempting to repair the nuclear plant with radiation levels rising. It's difficult to focus on making pot holders when my thoughts are with the people of Japan.

Gather Here is a very small business but we know we can make a difference. When you buy any of the Japanese fabrics in our shop, we'll donate 25% of your purchase to the Red Cross. If you love Echino, Kokka, Heather Ross's Far Far Away, Kiyohara, and so much more, please stock up now. We've grouped our Japanese fabrics right under the window. If you've been meaning to drop in and visit the store, there couldn't be a better time. And if you are like me and need to make something to help bring some order to the chaos of events, why not make it using Japanese linen/cotton blends?

Thank you to those of you that purchased fabric this past weekend, we were able to donate $100 but we hope to donate so much more. And we can't do it without you. This sale will be going on until the end of March. May things settle down by then...

Peace be with you and yours,
Virginia (owner/crafter/dreamer)

gather here's blog chronicling the opening of our stitch lounge, experiments in craftiness, and all things fiber.

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